Interpreter Of Maladies Summary

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Cultural Clash “Interpreter of Maladies” by Jhumpa Lahiri recounts the excursion of an American family to India through the eyes of its driver, Mr. Kapasi. The bicultural family represents an affluent yet ultimately miserable lifestyle. Mr. and Mrs. Das are a young couple with severe marital issues, with their carelessness most manifest in how they treat their children. By contrast, Mr. Kapasi sacrifices his career aspiration to pay for his son 's medical bills and remains faithful to his wife, despite their loveless marriage. As the story progresses, Mr. Kapasi’s initial desire for an intimate relationship with Mrs. Das transforms into disenchantment as he perceives the unbridgeable gap in cultural values. Lahiri highlights the disconnect caused by an invisible cultural barrier between Mrs. Das and Mr. Kapasi by using a limited third person point of view, symbolism, and juxtaposing imagery. Lahiri employs a limited third person perspective to emphasize the cultural differences between Mrs. Das and Mr. Kapasi. Though Mr. Kapasi has some knowledge of Western culture, it is limited to secondary sources such as the television show Dallas. Consequently, his view of the Das family is skewed and his comparatively conservative outlook on their behavior brings attention to the cultural contrast. Mr. Kapasi first notes the family 's deviation from traditional Indians by stating they "looked Indian but dressed as foreigners" (Lahiri 12). Subsequently, Mr. Kapasi notices that their

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